Society & Culture:History
WHEN FICTION MEETS FACT (AND FICTION MEETS FICTION): THE STORY OF STEVE BRODIE, MAUD AND PERCY
In July 1886, Steve Brodie, a resident of the Bowery neighborhood of New York City, made a bet to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, into the river below, in exchange for the money to open a saloon. This was a 135 foot jump. He became legendary for the leap.
But, did it actually happen? Listen and decide what you think!
Also, on this episode, we present a short story from 1902 - Maude and Percy Visit the Bowery - which gives a humorous (?) glimpse into what happens when a naïve upper middle class young couple decide to experience the excitement and terrors of the Bowery.
Although the story is fiction, it contains many mentions of real places and people of the time period, including Steve Brodie (!) and McGurk’s saloon, which was depicted in detail on a recent episode of our podcast. And, for the enjoyment of our listeners, the story of Maud and Percy is presented here, as an audio play.
New York Times, July 24, 1886.
New York Times, February 7, 1901.
New York Post, November 5, 2007.
The Day, Associated Press (AP), July 24, 1986.
Sante, Luc, Low Life (1990), pp. 122-25.
Haw, Richard, The Brooklyn Bridge: A Cultural History (2006), pp. 145-150.
McCullough, David, The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge (2012), p. 448.
Freeman, Morton, A New Dictionary of Eponyms (1997), pp. 33.
Steve Brodie: Find-a-Grave.
Bridget Brodie (wife): Find-a-Grave.
Maud and Percy:
Jarrold, Earnest (a.k.a. “Mickey Finn”), Maud and Percy Visit the Bowery,
Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 11, 1903 (reprint from New York Sun).
Earnest Jerrold – Wikipedia biography.
Earnest Jerrold – “Mickey Finn” is Dead (obituary), New York Times, March 21, 1912.
Steve Brodie - Andy Wang, the host of the Inspired Money podcast.
Accomplice of Steve Brodie – Sam Kulper of the Breakers podcast.
Maud & Percy:
Maud – Sara Stapleton of the Karen & Ellen Letters podcast.
Percy – Kevin Gallagher, the host of the Everything is Awesome podcast.
NYC Police officer (Unidentified) – Barney Black of Bloody Murder podcast.
Intoxicated Man (Unidentified) – Austin Beach of Audioblivious Productions.
Waiter (Unidentified) – Drew Profit of Audioblivious Productions.
Man on Street & Witness at McGurk’s (Unidentified) - Scott Phillips of Audioblivious Productions.
Sadie - Taylor Sadowski, listener and fan.
Sadie’s Friend (Unidentified) - Karen Wickiam, the host of Stat! Shocking Traumas and Treatments podcast.
Sailor (Unidentified) - Jeremy Hennessy of Audioblivious Productions.
Pick-Pocket Girl / Lady of the Evening (Unidentified) - Danielle Ries of Audioblivious Productions.
Narrator (story) - Sam Kulper of the Breakers podcast.
Narrator, the story of Steve Brodie & Outro Aphorism (voice) – Kit Caren, co-host of the Forgotten News Podcast.
Host Intro – Nina Innsted, the host of the Already Gone podcast.
I Knew A Guy
chinese umbrella rag demo
My Pearl is a Bowery Girl (chorus)
The Bowery (chorus)
Swingin' The Alphabet - Childrens' Song Arrangement (drum intro segment only).
crowd-mob-riot-noise (voices only)
Source: Chesterton, G.K., Heretics (1905), in chapter “Omar and the Sacred Vine”, p. 108.
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